COLUMBIA, S.C. – Southwest Atlanta Christian (Atlanta) wing DeAundrae Ballard has always known that sooner than later he’d make the transition from potential star to producing star.
“I’m confident because I train hard and I give it my all,” said Ballard, a junior. “It’s like the light just switched on even more though.”
It certainly seemed that way in Monday’s loss to Gray Collegiate (Columbia, S.C.) at the Chick-fil-A Classic. Ballard dropped 32 points, grabbed eight rebounds and swiped three steals. It was a strong followup to his coming-out-party over the weekend, a career-high 42-point outing in a win over St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.).
“That’s the game where I realized I could be great,” Ballard said. “Everything just came together for me in that one. Now I use the same strategy that I used in that game, inside-out. I’ve always had the confidence.”
Ballard helped the Georgia Stars win the Nike Peach Jam 16-and-under title last summer. He said the next step in his ascension is to instill the same confidence in his teammates.
“I just have to stay on them and stay on myself to keep going hard on every play,” Ballard said. “We have a lot of great players on the team, and I feel like we can win states. I definitely don’t plan to do anything but keep going up, but we have to learn from games like this one.”
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